AUSTIN, Texas (BVM) — The University of Texas has a proud history of great football players. But some of the greatest running backs to play football dressed in burnt orange and white. Here are the top five running backs in Longhorn history.
- Jamaal Charles
Charles played for the Longhorns from 2005-07 and rushed for 3,328 yards. He scored 36 touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Three times, Charles was named to the All-Big 12 Conference team. Also, as a freshman, he finished second on the team with 878 rushing yards behind Vince Young and captured a national championship. Charles would enter the NFL draft after his junior year and be drafted in the third round at the No. 73 overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Chris Gilbert
Gilbert played from 1966-68. A three-time All-Southwest Conference selection and 1968 All-American, Gilbert was the first college running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in three straight seasons. Gilbert rushed for 3,231 yards and scored 28 TDs. He was drafted in the 1969 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, and although he would never play a down in the NFL, he did enter the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
- Cedric Benson
Playing from 2001-04, Benson rushed for 5,540 yards and scored 64 TDs. Benson won the Doak Walker award in 2004 and was named a consensus All-American the same year. Benson ranked No. 10 all-time in college career rushing TDs. His highly successful college career boosted his draft stock. In 2005, the Chicago Bears sliced selected him as the No. 4 overall pick. Benson played eight seasons in the NFL and retired in 2012.
- Earl Campbell
Carrying the pigskin for the Longhorns from 1974-77, Campbell rushed for 4,443 yards and 40 TDs. Campbell was the first-ever Longhorn to win the Heisman Trophy in 1977.
He would go on to be drafted No. 1 overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1978 NFL Draft and would have an amazing professional career. Earning Offensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors. Campbell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Ricky Williams
Williams and Campbell could be interchangeable, but Williams’ numbers put him ahead of Campbell. Playing from 1995-98, Williams rushed for 6,279 yards and scored 72 TDs. Williams would win the Heisman Trophy in 1998, becoming the second Longhorn with the award. Williams also won the Doak Walker award in 1997 and 1998. He was also named 1998 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Williams was drafted No. 5 overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 1999 NFL Draft.
In 2013, Williams was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.